Toronto Skyline by Intiaz Rahim
The new Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Market Watch report is out, so let’s have a look at how the GTA real estate market has been doing over the last two months. We have been seeing a gradual strengthening of the seller’s market, with strong prices and sales, but a drop in the number of listings.
Realtors in the GTA reported 10,046 sales in May 2011, which was up six per cent from the 9,041 transactions reported in April 2011. The number of sales is the second best on record so far under the current TREB service area. Listings plummeted by 15 per cent, stopping at 16,076 at the end of May. This was a huge drop, but not as dramatic as the 30 per cent drop in year-over-year new listings activity of April 2011. Active listings went down by 27 per cent in a year-over-year comparison, from 25,414 in May 2010 to 18,481 in May 2011.
Detached house sales have traditionally made up the majority of the overall sales (49.7 per cent in May), with condo apartments being the second most popular housing type (with 22 per cent of the market). Compared to the previous month, sales went slightly down in the condo townhouse segment and in the attached/row houses segment.
TREB President Bill Johnston said: “Positive economic news and low borrowing costs led to strong sales through the first five months of the year, including the increase in May.”
The average number of days a property stayed on the market in May 2011 was 23, which was up five per cent compared to May of last year (22 days). The average price grew by nine per cent year-on-year, reaching $485,520. Single detached homes in the City of Toronto contributed the most to this price hike. The median price rose considerably, too, climbing from the $376,750 recorded in May 2010 to $400,000 in May 2011.
Nevertheless, Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis, presents a positive outlook: “The robust price appreciation that we have seen will hopefully prompt more households to list, resulting in a more balanced market later this year."